Local lawmakers will support Bush#039;s decision

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2003

As the United States stands on the brink of war with Iraq, many local government representatives know the uncertainty has weighed heavily on Americans and Lawrence Countians.

More than a year after Sept. 11, 2001, the heroes born that day can continue to inspire and teach valuable lessons, said State Senate President Doug White (R-14th District).

White compared the United States' current situation to that of Todd Beamer and the other passengers on the United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed into a Pennsylvania field.

Email newsletter signup

Beamer and several other passengers stormed the cockpit and stopped the plane.

It cost them their lives, but may have saved hundreds of others.

"Todd Beamer did not rush that cockpit out of hate, but out of compassion for those at the end of that flight," White said. "Right now, all of the nations of the world are on that plane. But the United States happens to be in Todd Beamer's seat."

President Bush has his full support because it is time for the country to stand up because we know what Saddam is capable of, White said.

State Sen. John Carey (R-17th District) agrees with White that the time to act may be now.

"The security of our country

and the freedoms we have are the most important things," Carey said. "I trust our President to make the right decision because he has information we do not have."

We must support all of the troops who are being sent overseas, he said.

After talking with the residents of his district, Carey said the public sentiment is that many people are afraid that we may have waited too long and given Saddam time to prepare.

"No one wants to see war but they understand the consequences of letting someone like Saddam do what he wants," Carey said. "Many of the countries that opposed World War II are opposing war now."

U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland (D-6th District) said he agrees that the time for debate is over, although he does have some reservations.

"I question the wisdom of what we are doing," he said. "But once this decision is made, and I think it has been made, then the debate should cease and we should support the decision made. There is a time to debate and a time to come together in unity. Now is that time."

Overall, the best thing for the people to spend time with their families and be together, he said.

"I think it is important for people to talk about their feelings," he said. "It is healthy for people to come together in times like this and have a sense of unity.

"Everyone needs to try to be with families and friends so we can get strength from each other and just pray and hope for the safe return of all our troops."

The talk of war has penetrated all walks of life and been a major topic of discussion almost anywhere.

State Rep. Todd Book (D-89th District) said that even at church Sunday, the topic of discussion quickly shifted to the impending conflict.

"It is obviously on the top of everyone's agenda and everyone is concerned," he said. "Even if you don't have a family member involved, you know someone who is being sent over there."

Book said this issue has really created a lot of middle ground and left many people wondering about the future.

"No one seems to be clear-cut. No one knows what is going on," he said. "I am torn on it myself. What is the right thing to do? We just have to pray and trust our leaders."

Even if we do go to war and oust Saddam, the uncertainty and threat of terrorism will not end, and this is just something we will have to deal with as a nation, Book said.

State Rep. Clyde Evans (R-87th) said he wishes the United States had more world-wide support but that does not change the level of threat that Saddam could pose.

"I feel this is a very serious decision to be made, but if the President and those in charge make this decision then I support them 100 percent," he said. "I will not second-guess them."